Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter MN
Visiting Assistant Professor, Theater
University of Florida - Graduate Student, Intro to Improv Instructor
"A key to being an outstanding teacher is planning – both planning for individual class sessions and creating the big plan for the entire course. Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe analyze the strategies of instructional design in “Understanding by Design” (2005).
That’s not to say that an on-the-moment activity can’t be included in a class. You can develop a teaching idea for that day’s class as you drive or walk to school. A question or comment from a student in class can lead to you redirecting your approach for that day’s class. But overall, you need to have planned and coordinated class sessions that work toward specific student accomplishments.
Ernest Briggs leads a class critique of a team’s improv. Briggs divided the students into teams after he had worked with them for several weeks. The teams work together on weekly improv activities, building toward a final performance.
When I review the teaching packages of the teaching assistants nominated for the teaching award, their planning is evident in their syllabi.
The syllabus lets students know their expectations for the semester – Student Learning Outcomes. The syllabus narrative and timeline present a sequence of assignments and learning activities that enable students to accomplish those SLOs.
Many courses are designed for students to create a portfolio of their work – a series of writing projects, the completion of multiple lab experiments and reports, or a collection of created artwork. Other courses have students working throughout the course toward a final project, such as a group presentation, an insect collection, or a major research paper.
Courses that include that kind of student-produced work help students recognize their progress (or lack of adequate progress) and recognize the importance of building on skills, establishing and meeting deadlines, and recognizing standards in the discipline.
And when I observe these top TAs teaching, their planning is evident. The class session has a specific mission. The instructor makes sure the students see how this day’s class connects within the framework of the overall course and specific assignments. They start class on time and utilize their class time. They move smoothly from one activity or topic to the next. Their pacing and use of student engagement makes sure that their students are moving with them." - Julie Dodd
Park Square Theatre – Immersion Day
I taught a one-hour workshop on different movement techniques that can be used to create a character. I worked with 6th – 8th grade students. The movement techniques included an introduction to the use of imaginary body by leading with different body parts to create characters, pulling from people in our lives to recreate a walk or movement, and an animal study of different animals to create a character of different energy and movement.
New Native Theatre Acting Workshops
I taught several workshops that focused on teaching various different acting techniques including Stanislavsky, Chekhov, Practical Aesthetics, monologue workshops, audition preparation, and the business of acting. Attendees ranged from high school students to Adults.
Shakopee Mdewankanton Sioux Future Stars Program
This program uses storytelling structure and Red Eye Tableau Teaching strategy. The strategy taught students how to explore storytelling structures to tell their own stories. I worked with 1st – 3rd Graders
MPS Office of Indian Education
I worked with students playing improv games to make the students better public speakers and to work toward giving a final presentation at the end of the semester. Ages 5-18
Arts for Academic Achievement
This program used the Red Eye Tableau Strategy to help improve the literacy of students. I worked with Middle School Students on a specific text and explored the text using Tableau (statue) storytelling with scene work and the creation of new stories and ways of expressing the material artistically and understanding the material